Landscape photographers have a unique ability to capture the world. Not only through the scenes they depict, but how they convey emotion through their images. They let the viewer experience the grandeur of the Dawn Wall or the sublime nature of Victoria Falls.
The skills for capturing the perfect landscape are constantly changing. Let’s take a look at the top 27 most influential landscape photographers to give you a taste of the outdoors.
Minns is a British photographer who specialises in the landscape of East Anglia. He has a remarkable ability to capture the British landscape. It can be hard to convey the cold and harsh British winters as well as their warm and inviting summers. But Minns is all too familiar. He can have you craving a hot cup of tea just from looking at his winter landscapes!
He is no stranger to a wide range of subjects. He is experimenting with infrared abilities and adding alternate views to the landscape. If you’re interested in travelling the British countryside, I would recommend looking at his work.
Mandy Lea is a travel photographer who runs a fun little blog. This blog is for those who enjoy the outdoors with all the bells and whistles that come with it. Her portfolio spans all travel photography sub-categories such as landscapes, nature, and wildlife.
Her work would be good to look at if you want to start a travel blog. Here, you will see how she travels so much while doing what she loves.
Parkin is a professional landscape photographer and the editor of ‘On Landscape’ magazine. A few people you will see on this list have been featured in this magazine. Parkin photographs both digitally and in large format film.
Trey Ratcliff is a famous photographer based in America who has been almost everywhere. With so many social media followers, it is no surprise that many people see him as influential. Ratcliff was born blind in one eye and claims this has helped with his photography career.
Ratcliff is also a travel photographer, which he documents well in his StuckInCustoms site. He is also an HDR professional. He boasts the first-ever HDR landscape to be displayed in the Smithsonian Museum. Anyone who enjoys landscapes where colours and tones prevail should take a close look at his work.
Noton is a British-born photographer who spent most of his time growing up in the Americas. He claims growing up in Ontario, Canada helped shape his eye and passion for the landscape. It’s not surprising that his catalogue includes images from every continent on earth.
He is an honorary fellow for the Royal Photographic Society who also gives talks around Europe. Noton’s unique quality comes from the way he displays light. It looks natural and believable. It’s almost as if he’s always in the right place at the right time. There is a fine line between artificial colours and actual light, and he traverses it well.
Milligan is a British photographer who creates dream-like images. Her images are almost like a fraction of the landscape presented. By focusing on these fractions, Milligan creates an ephemeral feel in her photos. Emphasis is evident by the way she deals with light in the landscape.
I would suggest looking at her work to see how photography can create a certain feel. This is mainly done in her post-production work. She handles different colours and tones to create an image that differs from the true landscape.
Christian Hoiberg is living the escapist’s dream. He is a Norwegian photographer currently based north of the Arctic Circle. Here, he guides photography workshops around these unforgiving areas. You can tell he is familiar with the landscape. And this familiarity has captured the essence of the landscape perfectly.
Hoiberg is not afraid to use low amounts of contrast in his landscapes. This can usually mean a loss of depth in the photograph. But he uses it to his advantage, creating some great scenes. This is not his signature style, though. His signature style involves these grand landscapes that give you a sense of place bordering on the sublime.
The youngest photographer on this list is 24-year-old Jake Guzman. He has become so established in a short amount of time due to his unique style. His style lends itself well to advertising. This style involves shooting landscapes with a long lens. Framing each photo with towering features that portray nature on an epic scale.
The way Guzman displays his colours are idealistic. He keeps a uniform colour pallet. These edits are almost more like how you want to remember a location rather than the reality of it. Take a look at his work if you want to take a similar route in photography.
Phillip Slotte is another young landscape photographer. He is based in Sweden and has his work featured in National Geographic and many others. Slotte presents you with dramatic landscapes that lean toward the darker side.
This darkness adds to the sublime nature of the landscape. It creates almost scary scenes where you are truly overshadowed by nature. I would recommend looking at how he deals with reflections in the landscape.
LeFevre is a photographer skilled in creating sharp, detailed landscapes. You can tell he prefers the rockier side of life from his chosen material. Despite this preference, he has photographed a wide range of environments.
He usually focuses on specific fractions that almost start to not look like a landscape. This takes the landscape out of its setting. It makes us think about the natural forms created by the world.
Mathia is an American photographer who has been published in many photography and outdoor magazines. There is no surprise that she is everywhere, as her work is truly ubiquitous. She has photographed anything that finds itself in the landscape, from wildlife to derelict machines.
She is also known to be very vocal in her practice. This can be helpful for beginner photographers who need inspiration. Be sure to check out some of her videos to get a better understanding of her landscape photography.
Huibo Hou is a fine art landscape photographer based in the United States. She is best known for her black and white landscapes. From her work, we see scenes that are more similar to paintings than reality. But in these photographs, you see the world void of colour and context. This gives the images a timeless feel.
Her sense of composition makes these images successful. She almost constructs a vision rather than framing it. Hou is an excellent reference for landscape photographers who want to create their own worlds.
Schönberger is a famous German photographer who creates wonderful environments. These environments tend to be on the darker side, almost making you glad to be in the comfort of your home. You see harsh winters and dark forests displayed in a perceivable way.
This photographer is well known for his commissioned work. If you want to look at capturing landscape photos for clients, check him out.
Thomas Heaton is a British photographer who is very well-travelled. His method of making simple forms out of landscapes sets him apart from others. This can almost be seen as oversimplifying the landscape, but I think it is done well.
A theme throughout his work shows that he understands light very well. This allows him to work with his images without them seeming too unreal. Heaton also runs a photography blog alongside his work.
Simon Roberts is a renowned British landscape photographer who has made his way into the art world. He is well known for his large-format, tableaux-like photographs of British settings. Roberts is now a Leica instructor for landscape photography.
Roberts’ work shows the everyday landscape with people in the frame. This highlights the surroundings as you create stories in your head of how the spaces are used. This makes the work very much ‘of-a-time’ rather than timeless landscapes. Check out his work if you want your landscapes to talk about more than a location.
Farrer is an award-winning photographer who has published works in various locations. His skill in the crafting of landscapes has brought him to offer his own workshops. These are all done in the UK, where he is based.
His work is predominantly shot with wide-angle lenses. When used effectively, it is easy to imagine yourself standing at the foot of the scene he is depicting. This is something Farrer does well. For some, the skill of filling the frame sometimes falls short, but not in his case.
Ralevska has her own unique style. She is a photographer who is very aware of the landscape and what can be done with it. Through her post-processing techniques, she comes up with surreal scenes. These scenes portray landscapes how they appear when we idealise them in our head.
Shots like these can translate into commercial work well. Take a look at her portfolio if you want to produce calming landscapes. Also, please take note of her brilliant sense of composition.
Carla Regler is a British-based photographer who is very skilled in her craft. Her skills have led her to give photography tours across the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. She has a style that is as close as you could get to a textbook landscape photographer. She can split up a frame well and keep the viewer engaged for a long time.
Regler is an excellent reference to study if you are starting in landscape photography. I would particularly recommend her storm photographs which carry an immense force with them.
Sanders is a Fujifilm ambassador as well as a speaker and mentor in the photography world. He started his photographic career as a fashion and advertising photographer. He now creates still photographs that are aptly named the ‘Still’ series. His work takes a minimalist approach to landscape photography.
This mindful approach to photography produces landscapes that let your mind wander. This is why many people like the work as prints. They allow the viewer to create their own world.
Lizzie Shepard is a British heavyweight in the landscape photography scene. Specialising in landscape, nature, and travel, she understands how landscapes best fit into frame. The way she does this is by putting a hectic setting into a formal composition.
Shepard is now on the judging panel for the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards. Her time and skill in landscape photography have become noticed by the best in the field.
He is one of the worlds leading landscape photographers. The person who created the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards, Charlie Waite. With an extensive career based around photographing the landscape, Waite has earned his spot on this list. His unique eye brings a new approach to landscape photography that sets him apart from the rest.
As the founder of the photography workshop ‘Light and Land’, he has provided workshops for over 25 years. Waite is currently known as one of the best landscape photographers in the field.
Now for one of the American stars, Ted Gore. With an eye for making super dramatic images, Gore has refined his technique to create unique images. He also writes about his process a bit, so be sure to check out his work.
His handling of colour is what sets him apart. The viewer sees colours that aren’t quite natural. This puts the subject on pedestals, making them jump out of the image. By doing this, you pay more attention to these elements.
Shore continues to be one of the most inspirational landscape photographers to this day. His work has set the standard for large-format photography. A lot of his photography depends on the viewer’s contextual knowledge. Whatever is outside of the frame is almost as important as what is in it.
This style of landscape photography is essential. It shows a reflection of another place and time. This is made evident by the release of his book ‘Steel Town’ which takes place in the ’70s. The relevance of that work is almost greater now than when it was created.
Burtynsky’s photographic career is bigger than landscape photography. He is a Ukrainian photographer who is known as one of the best landscape photographers. He uses the landscape to talk about the world. This seems like such a simple concept, yet it is what he chooses to photograph that makes it effective.
Scenes are composed in a sort of one-step-back approach. This almost removes you from the landscape so much that you can see it for what it really is. A master in interesting composition, look into his work if you want your photos to do more.
Simon Norfolk is a Nigerian-born British photographer. His style of landscape photography has made him a regular contributor to National Geographic. Norfolk uses landscapes to talk about issues that have transcended different eras. This is done by using the timeless nature of landscape photography and putting it into context.
Norfolk’s personal work focuses on conflict. He uses this landscape to talk about issues that can be seen only if you are in the right place.
The Godfather of landscape photography, Ansel Adams. He is known for his black and white images of the American West. They are still known as some of the best landscape images to this day. His style of not just composition but also the post-process is held in high regard.
Adams was a founder of the infamous f/64 group, creating a new standard for all photographers. If you’re looking for a quick burst of inspiration, Adams will satisfy your need for nature.
Misrach is a modern legend in the landscape. His use of colour is what sets him apart from others. Every scene is made with a feeling that you can step into the landscape. There are no artificial colours or HDR effects. Just nature and natural light. I would say he is one of the best landscape photographers.
He uses the power of beauty to get people to talk about important issues. This is most evident in his series ‘Border Cantos‘, which explores the Mexico-USA border. To those who want to produce beautiful landscapes, study his work carefully.
There is a wide range of styles when you look at landscape photography. As you will see from this list, composition is the most important factor while on location. This is then closely followed by how you handle the light.
One of these landscape photographers on the list should quench your thirst for nature. Be sure to look into each photographer and study their style. Eventually, you will find your own, but only if you put in the time outdoors. So get exploring!
Check out our Simply Stunning Landscapes course if you want to take your landscape photography to the next level!